It’s been almost a week that I’ve been out here in New York helping my sister and her husband with the difficulty of their little girl being in the hospital. It has been a tough and learning experience to be away from my own child during this time. I’m so glad I have the support system back home such that my little J doesn’t appear to notice mama is gone. My parents and siblings have been wonderfully present during the day, and AA has been at work less. Our friends have been over with meals. J actually appears to have had the time of his life this past week!
A few missing-your-child travel tips:
1) If you are still nursing, keep up the pumping.
I came prepared to pump in the am and pm, as that has been J’s nursing schedule. I’m grateful my milk is still here and hope traveling home through TSA isn’t too terrible. It’s helped me stay connected mentally to my toddler and ensured neither of us had to quit cold turkey. (My sister’s baby came early.)
2) Look at photos and videos.
I get daily media updates from my sister, mother, and husband. We decided it would might too tough for a 14 month-old to skype with mama, and be able to see me, but not touch me, especially as he hasn’t had any meltdowns or tantrums indicating he needs me. Therefore I get to see him, but he just hears my voice over the phone. It’s amazing how much he has grown and changed in just a few days! He has mastered eating corn on the cob, kicking a ball, and saying “boom.”
3) Check in frequently.
Whoever is taking care of your little one should be free to have you check in with them frequently. That way you’re able to focus on whatever it is that has brought you away from him or her. Nothing is more distracting as a parent than wondering if your child is okay. Don’t be afraid to ask about bowl movements, diapers, quantity of breakfast, lunch, and dinner consumed, as well as the fun stuff like new words learned (J tried to say “DUCK” today at the zoo with AA).
If you have to be away from your toddler, use all your resources to ensure the transition is an easy one for your child first and foremost, and then you and your partner. Luckily for me, J seems to not notice my absence, but will more likely notice my presence in an extra excited fashion upon my return!